Monday, March 29, 2010

Why support a third party? Reasons and barriers...

This article by Great Browne, member of the Northampton Green Party, goes into great detail about the barriers that third parties face in the United States, specifically in her area of Pennsylvania.

But what is most important to realize is that the barriers aren't stopping third parties from participating, they are stopping YOU, the voter, from participating, from having more choices at the ballot box, and from having representation that works for you.

These two paragraphs sum up the article quite well:

It's no wonder. Election laws like those in Pennsylvania make it difficult for independent candidates to get on the ballot. Once on, a strong third-party candidate must endure undemocratic accusations of being a ''spoiler'' in a winner-take-all system. This sense of entitlement by the two major parties breeds complacency and undeserved long-term incumbency. Reforms -- such as ranked voting (used in the Academy Awards) and open primaries (in Washington state and on the ballot this year in California) -- would allow third parties to garner the votes that represent the true popularity of their positions.

For example, the Green Party has always rejected the war efforts of the U.S. military, believing that our incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, represent imperialistic intentions rather than promotion of democracy. Greens unequivocally support universal single-payer health care and denounce the profit modality of the new health care bill. Greens in Pennsylvania support true clean energy, not ''clean coal'' or the chemical-and-water injecting extraction promoted by the state for our fossil gas deposits in deep shale beds. We believe that protecting our water table and our forest lands trumps temporary economic gain."
 "Complacency and undeserved long-term incumbency" nearty summarizes the problem. When the same two parties exchange power every election cycle, should we really be so surprised that change does not come, or when it does, it comes by the terms of the special interests that fund the two major parties?

The Green Party is striving to change that. All across the country, regular citizens are deciding they have had enough of their votes being held hostage, and their voices being drowned out by special interest.

Daryl Northrop

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hugh Giordano running for State Rep in PA!

Hello citizens!

Spotted this great article about Hugh Giordano. He is a Green Party candidate for State Representative in the 194th district, which comprises parts of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania County, and Philadelphia County. Hugh is a union organizer, with a Masters Degree in Legal and Ethical Studies.

He's running a clean-funded campaign with no donations from special interests, just like all Green Party candidates do!

In order for him to be on the ballot, he needs your help with ballot petitioning. Interested? Go to this link for more info.

His comprehensive campaign platform includes:

We must invest in green technology -Solar, Wind, and Hydro. Besides being good for the environment it also will be a way to create jobs in the creation, installation, and up-keep of these technologies. We also must re-localize our economy which means becoming a manufacturing state once again.  I will work to get abandoned factories reopened and in use.
My priority is ensuring the basic necessities for quality education exist in every classroom: books, qualified teachers, teachers’ aides, and appropriate technology.  I want to see expanded programs in the arts, sports, leadership, etc. both during school time and after school.
Equitable funding of public schools can only be achieved by shifting funding away from local property tax toward a more progressive statewide tax such as a graduated income tax.
I believe that healthcare is a basic human right, therefore I support single-payer universal healthcare, specifically HB 1660.  Read more at:
I would like to see a graduated progressive income tax, knowing that this requires a constitutional amendment.  I am also supportive of raising certain business taxes (including the elimination of tax breaks and loopholes), particularly on large businesses and businesses that are in other ways destructive (i.e. pollute, abuse workers).  I also support a severance tax on natural gas drilling and other extractive industries.
We must radically rethink our approach to crime and prisons.  First, we should not be putting non-violent offenders in prison.  We also need to speed up the judicial process so that people are not languishing in jail for long periods of time before trials.  We should definitely be reining in the exploding prison budget and spending more on probation and rehabilitation.  However, we should also be spending money on education and seeing this as the most proactive approach to our crime problem.
Addiction is a public health issue, not a crime.  I want to see non-violent drug offenders rehabilitated.  I support the decriminalization of marijuana and want to see its sale regulated and taxed appropriately.
I believe in the right of all couples to marry whether straight or gay, which would ensure equal economic and social rights for all couples.  I support SB 935 and oppose the Defense of Marriage Act.
I’m pro-choice.  The state should have no right employ delaying tactics to pressure women into not choosing abortion.  I also believe in comprehensive sex education such as that envisioned by Planned Parenthood’s call for “REAL Sex Education.”
I believe it is EVERY workers right to form a union. I will actively go after Executives and Management that harass and threaten workers when they attempt to form a union. I will support legislation that makes CEO’s accountable for the illegal tactics of lower management.

Good luck Hugh, we will be watching your race, and helping out any way we can!

Daryl Northrop

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Green Party Twitterverse!

Hello citizens- If you have a Green Party related tweet and want other political supporters to know about it, here are the #hashtags to use:


Also, don't forget to follow the Green Party at !

For those who are wonder, the hashtag #green seems to be primarily used for eco-news, green-living ideas, green products - it's not a bad tag to use when you have a broad-based political idea you would like to inject into primarily a non-political twitter group.

More later! Stay Green!

Daryl Northrop

Monday, March 22, 2010

Interesting blog - Climate Progress

This blog is run by the Center for American Progress, which is a Democratic-oriented group. But, the site seems to have good information about climate change science, along with messaging and the political dynamics.

Be sure to visit Green Party oriented sites for a different perspective on things:

Liberty Tree - works to promote citizen engagement and grassroots democracy outside the two-party system.

Green Change - an excellent social networking, blogging, news aggregation site, and coordination zone for Green Party activism.

Good politics grow with good ideas!

Daryl Northrop

Northern VA/Fairfax County Green Party meeting April 3rd

Hello everyone!
The Northern Virginia Green Party meeting is scheduled for:
Saturday, April 3rd 3pm
Oakton Public Library
10304 Lynnhaven Place
Oakton, VA 22124

Looking forward to a great meeting with a great group of people. The Northern Virginia Greens are looking to organize structurally, reach out to other groups, update their web presence, and plan for future elections. You can be a part! Stop by and meet citizens just like you who are taking control of their political futures.
The Green Party - Representing one special interest group: Citizens!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting coverage in the media: Ideas and action for the Green Party

Sometimes it seems like the mainstream media can only count to two! Once a third candidate or third party gets involved in a race, they either tune out, or resort to formulaic coverage that does little to educate and inform the public on their choices at the ballot box.

The solution is for Green Party candidates to take responsibility and seize the initiative for their own media goals. There are many ways to do this, and I will present two pieces of information.

This article from the Independent Political Report contains quite a bit of useful practical information about how to get your message out. Noted Green Party strategist David Schwab comments "The internet is constantly giving us inexpensive, increasingly effective ways of getting our message out without having to go through the traditional gatekeepers. Blogs, videos on youtube and vimeo, live streaming services, social media like twitter and facebook, and other technologies give Greens the opportunity to take their message directly to supporters, but for now, these opportunities have been severely underutilized."

Never has a truer statement been written! The simple rule to follow is: if the media will not give you coverage, give YOURSELF coverage via your website, blog, youtube account, facebook, and twitter. These tools are free, easy to use, and available to anyone.

More good advice in the same article: "In many instances, they do not have a media strategy adequate to their informational environment. Commenters suggested an invigoration and expansion of independent Green media networks, as well as greater outreach to and pressure on wider and more influential outlets, but they also noted that without significant output from the campaigns themselves, these networks cannot be put to good use. Thus, it was suggested that campaigns produce more press releases and short web videos, engage in social networking, hold press conferences or rallies etc. One might also consider the possibility of reaching out to other third party and independent groups and campaigns."

Very, very good advice! Engage your audience with short, compelling media bursts - audio, video, and text.

Shifting gears....

Rich Whitney, candidate for governor in Illinois, continues to get great coverage from Huffington Post. Whitney brings innovative ideas to the table regarding Illinois state budget woes "...Whitney has presented a comprehensive plan, incorporating ideas from Republicans, Democrats and independent budget analysts. The plan would generate nearly $16 billion in additional revenues, generating a budget surplus of over $2 billion."

As Greens we have a real challenge getting our message out in the media, but with smart use of existing and (mostly) free tools, we can reach out and connect with voters who are ready to hear fresh, new ideas!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Green Party solutions: Reliable, accountable public safety regulation - Toyota, anyone?

The Wall Street Journal covers a story about yet another Toyota vehicle racing out of control, and the driver being saved only after the brave efforts of law enforcement.

WSJ has a video report:

Some questions come to mind:
1. How can this happen?
2. Where are the safety regulators?
3. What can we do?

How did this happen? The problem is called "agency capture." This occurs when a given industry exerts significant influence or completely takes over the regulatory agency that is supposed to regulate it. There are several ways this can happen:
A. The company can contribute significant electoral campaign donations to the Congressional committees that oversee the regulatory agency.
B. The company hires former employees of the agency, and finally
C. Factors A and C combine to a point where members of the regulated industry and their lobbyists are chosen to regulate the industry by the congressional committees that have had their campaigns funded by corporate donations.

Great for the company, right? They get the inside track on derailing or watering down any new regulations, and in doing so, can support their profit margin over the safety and the political wishes of the American people.

What is the Green Party solution?

First, the Green Party and its candidates do not accept any corporate donations, funds from PACs, or other non-human, non-citizen sources.
Second, the Green Party supports robust and effective safety regulation, and stopping the influence of corporate lobbyists over the legislative process.
Third, the Green Party support open government and sunshine laws to facilitate transparency at all levels of government.

The Green Party: Real solutions to real problems.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Why are Green Party candidates better? Take a look at the video:

Why Are Green Party Candidates Better? from Tom Tresser on Vimeo.

These are real citizens running real campaigns. They are not funded by corporations and PAC's, so they can do what the Republicans and Democrats cannot do, and that is represent you.

Click here to learn more about Green Party candidates in Illinois.

Daryl Northrop

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Winter 2010 Green Pages now online (Green Party news/opinion paper)!

Hey citizens - the Winter 2010 Green Pages is now online for your reading enjoyment.

Featured stories cover Florida Greens resisting nuclear power expansion in their state, along with Arizona Greens winning their case in Federal Court to secure ballot access.

Take a look, and get caught up with what local Green Party's are up to in your area. Greens are your neighbors, co-workers, and colleagues - working in your area for democracy, social justice, environmentalism, and non-violent solutions to problems facing our nation today.

More to come!

Daryl Northrop

Monday, March 1, 2010

Green Party of PA running multiple candidates

The Green Party of Pennsylvania is running multiple candidates for office this fall! Per this post at the Houston Examiner, the GPPA will be running one US Senate, on Congressional, and four state house representative campaigns. Way to go!

The author of the article raises two very good points, in one race, a candidate needs to raise $2 million to be considered a "serious" candidate. In another race, the magic amount is $500k! These are challenging fundraising goals for even Democratic and Republican candidates, who are lavishly funded by corporate special interests.

This raises an important question: should elections be big fundraising contests, or, should they be contests of big ideas and leadership?

Greens support comprehensive campaign finance reform, so that voters can know that their candidates are fueled by real citizen support, and are not beholden to special interests. When you are choosing a candidate, ask yourself "where does their funding come from?" Does it come from individuals like yourself, or does it come from corporations, unions, or political action committee's? It matters.

The Green Party: standing up for real campaign finance reform. We practice what we preach - no funding from corporations, unions, political action committees.

Daryl Northrop